Selanne’s shootout goal gives Ducks 3-2 win over Predators in key clash

In a battle of division leaders fighting it out for the top spot in the Western Conference, Selanne also scored his 39th goal of the season in his reunion with longtime Ducks linemate Paul Kariya. Selanne, who eclipsed Kariya’s franchise records for goals and game-winners earlier this season, needs 20 points, 24 assists and three power-play goals to break Kariya’s club records in those categories.

Penner extended his goal-scoring streak to four games, the longest by a rookie in Ducks history. Penner could have had two, but he hit the right post from close range with four minutes left in the first period.

Kimmo Timonen and J.P. Dumont scored first-period goals for the conference-leading Predators, who had a season-low 14 shots and none in OT after scoring at least four goals in each of their previous six games. Kariya scored their only goal in the shootout.

The point Nashville got in the defeat, coupled with Detroit’s overtime loss to Colorado, put the Predators two points ahead of the Red Wings in the Central Division and four ahead of the Pacific Division-leading Ducks.

Nashville played without Peter Forsberg, David Legwand and Steve Sullivan, all out with minor injuries. Jason Arnott missed his second straight game with flulike symptoms.

Penner got the equalizer with 16:34 left in regulation, redirecting a one-timer from the left point by Chris Pronger past Tomas Vokoun for his 24th goal.

Centre Rich Peverley made his NHL debut and set up the game’s first goal. The 24-year-old centre won a faceoff deep in the Anaheim zone and got the puck back to Timonen, who threaded a quick shot between Anaheim teammates Andy McDonald and Chris Kunitz and through Giguere’s pads at 8:48 of the opening period.

READ ALSO:  Calgary Flames fans salute Jarome Iginla upon his return as a Boston Bruin

Giguere, who shut out the Predators on Dec. 6 in Anaheim, surrendered Dumont’s 18th goal just four seconds before the end of the first period when Dumont’s rising 45-foot slap shot went off the goalie’s blocking pad. Kariya set up the goal, carrying the puck into the zone and leaving a perfect drop pass for Dumont that just missed hitting Selanne’s stick.

Selanne answered Dumont’s goal just 64 seconds into the second period. Kunitz blocked Marek Zidlicky’s shot from just inside the Anaheim blue line and the puck caromed into the neutral zone, where Andy McDonald took off down the ice and got it to Selanne near the net as Zidlicky made an unsuccessful diving attempt to break up the pass.

Tempers flared in the final minute of the second period after former Ducks defenceman Vitaly Vishnevski took a run at McDonald in the Nashville zone. Travis Moen retaliated against Vishnevski and got a cross-checking penalty. Another scrum broke out behind the Anaheim net after the period ended, and Giguere left his crease while Vokoun stayed put. But referees Dave Jackson and Justin St. Pierre chose not to assess a minor penalty to Giguere.

Notes: Monday is the sixth anniversary of the trade in which the Ducks sent Selanne to the San Jose Sharks for LW Jeff Friesen and G Steve Shields. Selanne returned to Anaheim as a free agent in August 2005. In between his stints with the Ducks, their record was 104-110-17 with 30 ties. … Kariya, Legwand, Sullivan and Scott Hartnell all are tied for the Predators lead with 22 goals – and Arnott has 21.